Yes, I work for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and you may think coming from me this title is nothing more than propaganda, but for those who read more than this first sentence I hope you can see the truth in what I have to say.

I’m a homeowner. In fact, I’ve never rented. I’m a rarity within my circle of friends. I went from college dorms to back home with my parents after graduation to saving money like crazy to buying my first home just before I got married. In my mind, home ownership truly was the American Dream and at the young age of 23 I was able to fulfill that dream.

But in actuality, it was a nightmare.

While house hunting I worked with an agent that had been referred to me and she showed me some decent places here and there, but being the youthful, internet-savvy whippersnapper that I was (still am) I decided I could probably find something on my own. Lo and behold I did thanks to the almighty power of the world wide web. Take that conventional real estate wisdom! Gen Xers everywhere rejoiced. Located in Denville, NJ was a townhouse within my price range that looked perfect for me and my soon-to-be wife. And it was a for sale by owner!

Having just relinquished my agent to the bench for house hunting duties, I figured it was time to show the system just how empowered my generation was so I decided to by the house without the assistance of a real estate professional. I could hire a lawyer. I could hire someone to inspect the place. I knew what I was doing.

I was wrong.

What happened next was a series of unfortunate events that almost derailed my dreams of home ownership. Details that seemed trivial at the time turned into huge ordeals. The owners of the place I was buying decided they didn’t need to leave behind certain fixtures. Their lawyer was threatening my lawyer that I was causing them not to be able to buy their next home because we weren’t moving fast enough with some of the paperwork and financing. I started receiving threatening phone calls from the home owner on my cell accusing me of ruining their lives. Good times.

Call it youthful ignorance or being over my head, but I saw it as a sign that I needed to leave certain things to the professionals. I decided then that I would never, ever again buy or sell a home without the help of a real estate agent. You might think I just ran into an awful seller or a unique situation, but I think it was may more than that.

Five years later with a one year old boy, my wife and I decided it was time to move out of the 1,200 sq. ft. town home that we’d made our own. The Internet-marketer that I was didn’t even bother looking online for a place. Instead I went hunting for an agent. I didn’t even want to get pre-approved before talking to a pro.

Thanks to Peggy Lefsky with Coldwell Banker in Mountain Lakes, NJ, I now have a home that my wife and I plan on living in for a very long time. In fact this wasn’t even a place we had on our radar until Peggy suggested it. You see from my perusing of Internet photos I thought the place looked pretty awful, but Peggy had been in the house, knew the neighborhood and said it was exactly what we needed. She said look past the 70′s decor and talked to us about how this was a neighborhood where “bikes can be ridden” and the home had room for us to grow.

Peggy was right. Of course, she was. She’s a pro.

I believe in what a real estate agent does. I’ve experienced it firsthand and having met and talked with thousands of Coldwell Banker agents across the country during my time with the company I know that they echo the sentiment expressed in our “We Believe” campaign that they believe it’s their calling in life to find the home that’s perfect for you.

I speak from firsthand experience.